Tuesday, July 15, 2008

He's An Interesting Guy

I met a guy this last week who, along with his wife (a nurse) have been medical missionaries in Africa for, um, I forget how long - years and years. I'm not going to name the country he's in because to be openly Christian in that country is a good way to get killed. Regardless, many years ago he and a couple other guys started a hospital. There is very little medical equipment and medicines, even basic medicines are in very short supply. Nevertheless, this hospital now treats on average 250 patients per day. His family’s income and that of the other doctors is based on donations as is the funding of the hospital. Just a few facts that he shared.
This country is 95% Muslim
There is one doctor for every 37,000 people.
There are only 15 dentists for a population of nearly 15 million.
Life expectancy is 44 years
63% of the population live on less than $1.00/day.
Close to 50% of this country's annual budget is foreign aid.
25% of the children die before the age of 5.
95% of the schools don’t have electricity or a library, and
Only 1% of the kids who go to school graduate grade 13.

He and his partners have also started a reforestation project that is slowly but surely pushing back a desert that now dominates this once lush area of Africa. Where they live is hot and dusty. There are very few amenities and very little time off. Physical comfort is hard to come by and the lack of money leaves them with nothing extra to be putting away for retirement. Why does he do it when he could be living in North America making loads of money and living in ease?

“God’s love for us causes us to love others. We can’t not do it.”

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